How to make a hot-water bottle cover

Kate Smith / 09 March 2016

Keep cosy with this easy-to-make, comforting hot-water bottle cover that can be made from lengths of felt or an old woollen jumper.



You will need

  • Hot-water bottle
  • Paper
  • Tape measure
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • 100% wool felt (4mm thick) or a felted jumper
  • Sewing machine or needle and thread
  • Trimmings (lace, ribbon, buttons, whatever you like). I used jumbo ric-rac and neon ribbon, but you could appliqué a heart, star or initial motif by cutting a shape out of fabric if you prefer

How to make

Step 1

First make your pattern. To do this, trace around your hot water bottle onto paper, then mark another line 2cm larger all the way around to make your pattern front piece. Cut this out.

Step 2

Now you need to make 2 x pattern back pieces. You can trace around your pattern front piece to do this: the top needs to be the top ¾ of the pattern piece, cutting off the bottom ¼. And the bottom needs to be the bottom ¼ of the pattern piece, plus 1cm overlap along the top flat edge. This provides a space for you to insert the bottle.

Step 3

You should now have three pattern pieces: the whole front, the top back and the bottom back.

Step 4

Pin each pattern piece onto your felt or fabric and cut out.

Step 5

Take your trimmings and pin onto the front piece. I kept my design simple by laying the ribbons in layers across the hot-water bottle cover. However, you could criss-cross them diagonally, have them running vertically or fill more of the cover with ribbons if you like. 

Don’t be afraid to play around with bright colours – I love using glittery ribbons and contrasting colours to add a bit of pizazz. Don’t go too crazy though, as you’ve got to balance liking the look of the cover with the cosiness and comfort factor when holding it close! 

Play around with the trimmings until you are happy, then sew in place. Repeat for the back, if you like.

Step 5

Place the front piece face-down in front of you. Now place the bottom back piece on, right-side up, lining up the side and bottom edges. Then place the top back piece on, lining up the top and sides. The back pieces should overlap by 1cm.

Step 6

Pin all the pieces in place. Now sew around the outside edge with a 0.5cm seam allowance.

Kate’s top tip

If you have a woollen jumper (preferably 70% wool content or higher) that you don’t wear any more or that has holes in it, you could always felt it to use for this project. Just put the jumper into a hot wash, then a hot tumble-dry, and it should come out nicely felted. This means you’ll be able to cut shapes from it with no danger of them fraying.

Related: how to make a draught excluder.

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